by Derek Tam, March 2, 2020
One of the first composers I encountered when I first began studying the harpsichord was Louis Couperin, the uncle to François and a magnificent musician in his own right. When you play Louis’s music on a harpsichord, you understand why the instrument exists. Of his oeuvre, one of my particular favorites is the Passacaille from his C major suite. Once you hear the refrain, you cannot forget it: the richness and inevitability of the repeating harmonic progression seduces your ears, and the variations build in intensity until the floor drops out from under you in the final variation.